Ashe County is losing a grocery store.
Lowes Foods in West Jefferson will close its doors for good on Friday, Sept. 19, 2014.
The company announced on Tuesday, Aug. 12 that it will close four North Carolina stores, including the one located at 247 Mount Jefferson Park Road in the Blue Ridge Plaza shopping center. Stores in Cary, Gastonia and Shelby are also slated for closure.
“Yes, that store (West Jefferson) will be closing,” a guest services representative at Lowes Foods’ corporate headquarters in Winston-Salem said. “It’s because of profit, and declining revenue. It’s not doing as well as a lot of our other stores.”
The company is in the process of remodeling many of its more profitable stores and closing under-performing ones, while looking to expand into new markets all at the same time.
“We’re taking the stores with the least revenue and cutting them to make way for new ones and remodeling others,” the Lowes representative said.
An employee at the West Jefferson Lowes Foods couldn’t specify exactly how many will be affected by the closure.
According to a statement released by the company on Tuesday, staff will be offered positions at other stores in the chain where possible.
Lowes Foods continues to operate stores in Boone, Banner Elk, Sparta and two locations in Wilkes County.
What will become of the space the store currently occupies at Blue Ridge Plaza, and the impact its vacancy may have on neighboring businesses, is currently unknown.
Lowes Foods began in 1954 as a single store in North Wilkesboro and has grown to become a major supermarket chain with over 100 stores in North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia.
The West Jefferson Lowes Foods has been open for over a decade.
Dedicated shoppers will continue to have grocery shopping options at Ingles, Food Lion, Walmart and several other smaller stores across the county.
Alan Bulluck can be reached at (336) 846-7164 or on Twitter @albulluck.